The Long Walk

In 1956, a Polish officer called Slavomir Rawicz caused a sensation with a book describing his dramatic escape from the Soviet Gulag and a 4000-mile trek on foot to India. A thrilling and extraordinary story, but many have doubted its veracity. Tim Whewell uncovers new documentary evidence that solves the mystery.

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20061030
20101205

Later this year, the celebrated Australian director Peter Weir will release his latest film.

Titled "The Way Back" it is based on a book which has puzzled the world for 50 years.

In 1956, a Polish officer called Slavomir Rawicz caused a sensation with "The Long Walk," his account of a his dramatic escape from the Soviet Gulag and a 4000-mile trek on foot to India.

The book was a bestseller and has remained in print for over half a century.

Rawicz describes how he his fellow escapees slogged across the Siberian tundra, traversed the Gobi Desert and scaled the Himalayas.

Along the way they faced hunger, exhaustion, disease and even a couple of yetis.

A thrilling story: but was it true? Many have doubted whether this extraordinary tale can really have happened.

Four years ago, Tim Whewell investigated for a Radio 4 documentary and discovered evidence that decisively proved whether Rawicz really made his amazing journey.

Now there's further evidence which adds another twist to the tale - including a meeting with the man who might really have made this epic trek.

This updated version of the programme proves once again that truth is truly stranger than fiction.

Producer: Hugh Levinson.

Tim Whewell explores truth and myth in one of the great tales of adventure and endurance.